Football

Benfica confirm Ederson's move to City

But goalkeeper's deal with Benfica involves third-party ownership, which must be resolved before he joins

Ederson inched closer to a move to Manchester City yesterday after Benfica announced they had "reached an agreement" over a £35million (S$62.5m) deal.

The 23-year-old, who has yet to win a senior cap for Brazil, reportedly underwent a medical with City on Tuesday and would immediately become the game's most expensive goalkeeper, edging Gianluigi Buffon's switch to Juventus on current exchange rates.

Benfica posted a picture of the goalkeeper accompanied by the words "thank you @edersonmoraes93" on their Twitter account and said in a statement to the stock exchange "it has reached an agreement with Manchester City Football Club Limited for the definitive transfer of the rights of the athlete Ederson Santana de Moraes for the amount of 40 million euros".

But City do not expect to be in a position to rubber-stamp the deal imminently.

Ederson's deal with Benfica involves third-party ownership of his economic rights, with previous club Rio Ave thought to hold a 50 per cent stake, and that must be resolved before he formally joins City.

Football Association rules do not allow for any third-party involvement, meaning Benfica must take care of business independently before tying up loose ends with City.

City had a similar experience with Gabriel Jesus' transfer last season and are prepared to wait for a matter of days, if not weeks, for the correct paperwork to be finalised.

Ederson's expected arrival at the Etihad Stadium essentially confirms England No. 1 Joe Hart has no chance of a reprieve after his season-long loan at Torino, while his original replacement, Claudio Bravo, has failed to live up to expectations.

INTEREST

Over in the red half of Manchester, it is believed that United have cooled their interest in signing Atletico Madrid's French forward Antoine Griezmann, a source close to the club confirmed yesterday.

Europa League winners United were reported to be plotting an approach for 26-year-old Griezmann.

But a source confirmed reports in several British media outlets that United have shifted their focus.

The club are thought to have instead prioritised the acquisition of a more conventional centre forward.

United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has sustained a long-term knee injury and is due to be out of contract at the end of the month.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport yesterday upheld a transfer ban against Atletico over irregularities in the signing of foreign players under the age of 18.

It means the Madrid club will not be able to register new players until January 2018.

Atletico were reportedly intending to sell Griezmann and replace him with his France teammate Alexandre Lacazette of Lyon. - WIRE SERVICES

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